Ma earns P2T daily from P14-T storeBy Aileen Garcia-Yap
Cebu Daily News
She has always wanted to have her own means of earning income by setting up a small business.
Jessica Solon-Seno, 43, of Barangay Casili in Mandaue City, is one of the many housewives who wished they could do something to uplift their family’s status into a more comfortable lifestyle.
Unlike other women however, Seno, despite not having completed her elementary education, rose up to the challenge and kept looking for ways to start a small sari-sari store.
“It happened in 1999 when I heard about a ‘sinking fund’ program in our barangay and decided to join the program so that I can save money that I can eventually use to start a small store in our place,” said Seno.
After a year’s sacrifice, Seno was able to raise P14,000 from the program, which she used as capital to start her store.
She spent the P10,000 to build the store located in front of her house in Upper Casili.
To save on labor, her husband, who works on a seaweed processing company in barangay Paknaan, Mandaue City, would work on building the store during the weekend.
“I also shopped for goods to be sold in the store worth P4,000 to start the business. I sold the basic needs like rice, canned goods, shampoo, soaps and more,” said Seno.
Seno grew the business and won more customers even from nearby communities.
Despite handling the business, she never neglected her family responsibilities as mother and wife.
She would start her day waking up at 4 a.m. to cook breakfast for the family and prepare the food for their lunchboxes for school and work.
She would then clean the house before tending the store at 6 a.m.
At 3 p.m. she would already prepare dinner for the family.
“I do that everyday and find satisfaction that I was able to achieve what I have always wanted to have. Because of the business, we were able to have a more comfortable life and our children were all able to go to school,” said Seno.
Seno said she never finished school because of financial constraints. She only finished Grade 5.
She said her dream to give her children a better life pushed her to look for opportunities to earn money.
Twelve years later, her sari-sari store now earns P2,000 daily – income which she uses for the family’s basic needs and for her children’s education.
“My eldest Grace (22 years old) had already graduated from the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJR) with a degree in Psychology. My second child Gelli Anne (20 years old) is taking up Accountancy while my youngest May Ann Rose (17 years old) is taking up Industrial Engineering still at USJR,” she said.
She planned to continue growing her business.
“My plan is to really make my store bigger when all my daughters finish their degree because by then I will have more free resources to finance the expansion,” said Seno.
Because of her inspiring story, Seno won the second runner-up award in the Search for Award in the Search for WINNERS or Women In Need Now Entrepreneurs and Rolemodels organized by the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry for their month-long Mandaue Business Month celebration every August.
Seno said she planned to expand her sari-sari store and make it more like a convenience store.